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University of Pennsylvania Professors and Affiliates

People Bank description 1

People Bank description 2


Professor, Agricultural Systems, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Zhengxia Dou is a professor of agricultural systems at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. She has worked on agricultural nutrients and sustainable food security issues. Her current research focuses on crop-livestock integration in the context of food system. Specific areas of work include: livestock as natural bio-processors for upcycling crop biomass; solutions for valorizing underutilized biomass via animal feeding; systems-based analysis of food waste management technologies to mitigate unintended consequences. Her core interest is in leveraging livestock to promote a circular food system, which in turn can aid the transition toward a resource- and climate-smart society.

Zhengxia Dou, B.S., M.S., PhD.


Brian Spooner, B.S., M.S., PhD.

Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania

Brian Spooner is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. He is affiliated with the University's Middle East Center and served as its director from 1986-1995. He is affiliated faculty at Penn GSE’s International Education Development program. Dr. Spooner has worked on sites in Afghanistan, northwest China, Iran, India, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, with such topics as irrigation, the history of desert areas, pastoral nomadism, Islam, ecology and development, and language and culture. His research interests include rural development, cultural Anthropology/Middle East, South Asia, religion, ecology, rural development, with special interest with Central Asia, Indo-Persian and Urdu. In addition to his research, teaching, and writing, Dr. Spooner is also the curator for the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Near Eastern Ethnology.

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Domenic Vitiello, B.A., M.C.P., PhD.

Associate Professor of City Planning and Urban Studies, Stuart Weitzman School of Design, University of Pennsylvania

Domenic Vitiello is an urban planner and historian whose teaching, research, and practice focus partly on urban agriculture, community food systems, and city food and agriculture policy.  He teaches The Urban Food Chain (URBS 248 - a fall course for undergraduates) and Metropolitan Food Systems (CPLN 621 - offered every other spring semester for graduate students). Domenic was founding president of the Philadelphia Orchard Project; has helped Philadelphia and other U.S. cities develop food and agriculture policy; and has collaborated in program design, support, and research with urban agriculture organizations and food banks around the U.S. and Canada. His research with colleagues and students has quantified the production and distribution of food from community gardens in U.S. cities; examined the growing links between food banks and local agriculture across the U.S.; traced the history of food system planning; and evaluated the community economic development impacts of urban agriculture around the world. 

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